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How To “Marissa” Your Workplace

Marissa Mayer’s high profile move to Yahoo has raised some interesting discussions about how the company is going to try to reclaim its status as a media giant. Although Mayer’s long-term plans for Yahoo may be under wraps, the direction she seems to be taking is already fairly clear. It seems it will be a lot more fun to work for Yahoo. Here are some cool changes Marissa Mayer is making and how you can incorporate versions of them into your own workplace.

Free food in the cafeteria

Although some say Mayer stole this idea from her previous employer Google, free food is actually a fairly common perk in Silicon Valley offices. Facebook and Twitter employees get to nosh for nothing as well. While talking your bosses into catering lunch every day might not be realistic for your office, there are smaller scale options. Suggest a bagel Wednesday or a team luncheon as a reward for some upcoming project. Pick someone tactful to make the pitch, of course, and explain why this inexpensive treat would be a good investment in company morale. If you think even that is unlikely, try organizing some food events with your coworkers. Set up a rotation to make cupcakes on birthdays, plan a potluck once a month or plan a bagel Wednesday where you take turns bringing in the goodies. You might not save any money this way, but it will be a fun way to bond with coworkers. (Maybe you can share your favorite brown bag lunch recipes!)

Weekly all-hands meeting
This may seem not nearly as fun as the free food idea (although this would be an excellent opportunity for a perk like that), but actually it may be a great way to make your workplace more cohesive. With multiple departments, it’s easy to lose sight of what everyone else is up to and easy to forget that everyone else is probably working as hard as you. In a weekly meeting you can learn about, and learn from, the work that your peers are doing. Additionally, it’s a great opportunity to assess and reassert the goals of the company at large on a regular basis.

“More collaborative and cool”

As a creative type, this statement from Mayer is very exciting to me. She is reportedly planning major changes to the workspace to make it “more collaborative and cool.” How exactly she plans to do this remains to be seen, but that’s the exciting part. In your office, suggest designating a common space for work. Set up a big table where multiple people can pull up their laptops and bounce ideas off of each other as they work. Some companies are even starting to encourage doodling. They’ve put in tables with a whiteboard surface so that employees can channel creativity during meetings. Of course, maybe the creativity comes from breathing too many dry-erase fumes.

How do you make work fun and creative? And what do you think about Marissa Mayer’s changes at Yahoo? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb

IMAGE: Courtesy of e dub blog

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.

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